Video: Jurgen Klopp brilliantly trolls Simon Mignolet in post-match Liverpool press conference
Jürgen Klopp was in good spirits on Thursday night after seeing his Liverpool side book their place in the Europa League last-32, so he afforded himself a smile and a joke when addressing Simon Mignolet’s mindless decision to hold onto the ball for a staggering 22 seconds, conceding an indirect free-kick from which Bordeaux took the lead.
A James Milner penalty and Christian Benteke winner proved enough to secure victory after Henri Saivet gave the visitors the lead, but it was Mignolet’s moment of madness that dominated the post-match press conference.
When Klopp turned to his press officer to humorously ask why he was allowing so many questions, he compared the time taken for him to intervene to the number of seconds it took the Belgium international to get rid of the ball.
Klopp joked: “You wait this long? He waited longer than Simon Mignolet!”
£32.5m summer signing Benteke led the line with Roberto Firmino supporting him, and the former Aston Villa striker put in one of his best showings in a red shirt so far as he won the penalty for James Milner to convert before netting the winner himself, as well as seeing two further goals ruled out.
However, it was Bordeaux’s opener that Klopp was keen to discuss afterwards, with goalkeeper Mignolet penalised for holding onto the ball for more than the six seconds allowed. An indirect free-kick was awarded to the French side, from which Saivet scored from, and Klopp said he has never seen a side penalised for time-wasting as early as the 25th minute, although the stopwatch showed that the Belgian goalkeeper had the ball for a lengthy 22 seconds.
"The [Mignolet] free-kick.... I am long in this business and never had a time-play after 25 minutes from the team with more ball possession," he added.
“It was an open game - some strange decisions, I would say. I hope 'strange' is not a too hard word.
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“Frustrated? I don't know. I think we were the active team in this game. 20 seconds? Okay. Usually you won't give this free-kick.”
However, BT Sport pundit and former Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James was in complete agreement that referee Alon Yefet made the right decision.
“This you see quite often with Simon Mignolet. He takes a lot of time on the ball, but 20 seconds is a ridiculous amount of time. Rightly so it was punished,” said James.
“With the free-kick there’s another error. He’s in a reasonable position to start with but from that close there’s no way the ball is going to be bent round.
“It’s a lovely strike but it’s not going into the top corner. So if he stays in the right position he can just tip it over the bar. It’s a catalogue of errors.”
The error comes at a bad times for Mignolet after former Liverpool stopper Bruce Grobbelaar claimed that he understood Klopp is already looking to replace him with talent brought in from the Bundesliga.
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Independent News Service